“Why don’t you work abroad?”

Yesterday a Filipino, who is my on-line English teacher said to me “Why don’t you work abroad? ” I couldn’t say anything and not because I can’t speak English.I have never talked seriously with my friends about working abroad.

I think that it is difficult for most Japanese to work abroad because of the three reasons as bellow.

First, Japanese companies are based on lifetime employment and the seniority system.
It is very difficult to change a jobs.Most companie, sexcept major companies, are located only in Japan .

Second, if you build your own house to get a mortgage, you can’t move anywhere until the mortgage is returned.
Japanese usually apply for mortgage for thirty five or thirty years.
Your house can’t sell for as much as you bought it.

Third, if you have any children, most Japanese think that caring for their children abroad is immposible for them because
of language, food, culture and other reasons.

On the other hand the Filipino said that her friends are working in US, Europe and other countries.
I wonder that if the three reasons could be solved, if more Japanese would work abroad.

Anyway it is employment ice age now.Young Japanese may have to go abroad whether they like or not.
I wish to go if I have an oppotunity to work or live abroad,


Published by


I live in Kawagoe-city Saitama-prefecture Japan. There are many traditional warehouses in Kawagoe. So many Japanese and the people from overseas come to sightseeing. http://www.koedo.or.jp/foreign/english/index.html

6 thoughts on ““Why don’t you work abroad?””

  1. This is an interesting blog post and I have always wondered why there are not a lot of Japanese working abroad compared with other highly industrialized countries (like US, Canada, Australia, UK, Germany, etc.).

    In my case living in Canada, I worked abroad because my company (a multi-national company) sent me to Japan for 3 years. I have a mortgage and a teenager.

    I think the 3 reasons you listed can apply to Canadians (I think in the US as well):

    1) Although most companies in the private sector don’t have lifetime employment, most public or government offices in Canada have lifetime employment and seniority based as well.
    2) Most Canadians have mortgages, typically 25 years and sometimes longer.
    3) Most Canadians have children.

    You would think there would a similar number of Canadians and Japanese working abroad. There is probably another reason related to cultural differences.

    1. Thanks for sharing Canadian affairs.
      I thought that two additional reasons why Japanese didn’t work abroad.

      First reason is cultures( may be history ) you said
      ・In Edo era Japan had been sealed off to the outside world except a few countries for about 250 years.
       It was possible because Japan was isdlands.
       Japanese may be introverted nature.
      ・English education didn’t have a good quality.

      Second reason is economy
      ・Japanese companies mainly have made products withn the country and exported for long time.
       So we didn’t need to go abroad.

      Anyway the circumstance is changing.
      I will think about the change.

  2. I know the people here in ym country work abroad due to economical reasons – they go to industrialized countries with better exchange rate and earning power.

    1. Yes.Economical reasons are main part. Recently Japanese companies are establishing many associated companies in China, Vietnam, India and other countries you may know well.

  3. I have been to the US (NYC, and Iowa) for 4 years and to Sweden (Umeå) for 5 years after getting Ph.D degree in Japan. I have worked at the universities as an individual scientist and published my works in decent international journals. I got married with European and we came back to Japan. Since my supervisor had already retired from the university, I did not have anybody to ask for further developing my career. People like me is having a very hard time amid shrunk employment sphere since a career itself does not mean anything in this country. Something else outside of a career appear to be more important in this country, you know.
    I hope the circumstance will be improved in the future. Very intriguing post:)

    1. Thank you for sharing your career and comment.
      Besides academic background and licentiate had been very important to live in society for Japanese.
      But I think that it was old-fashioned.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s